Outdoor firms perform strongly
Tiso improves to boost JD Sports result
JD Sports said a stronger performance from its outdoor brands, which includes Edinburgh-based Tiso, contributed to a sharp rise in profits.
The company enjoyed an 81% surge in pre-tax profits last year to £238.4m.
Even the previously loss-making outdoor brands, Millets and Blacks, delivered “a positive result” for the first time since JD Sports acquired them, it said, and the £112m acquisition of Go Outdoors business will further develop the category.
In a statement on full-year results, it said: “The result in the Blacks and Millets business has improved as we see the positive benefits from actions taken previously to simplify the operational leadership, improve the camping offer and reduce the level of markdowns.
“The smaller Tiso business, which operates largely in Scotland, has also delivered a positive result and having dealt with a number of legacy underperforming stores now has a better platform from which to develop.”
The chain has also continued to benefit from the fashion for leisure wear. “We are fully aware that athletic inspired footwear and apparel has been on trend throughout Europe for a number of seasons,” it said.
Sports Fashion has had an exceptional year with operating profits (before exceptional items) increasing by 50% to £245m (2016: £162.9m).
There has been further progress in Europe during the period with new stores in all existing territories, including larger space flagship stores in Cologne and Brussels, complemented by two acquisitions.
Peter Cowgill, executive chairman, said “JD’s continued strength in its core markets is increasingly being complemented by momentum in our international development, with a net increase of 54 JD stores across mainland Europe during the year.”
Like-for-like sales, which strip out the impact of new stores opening, grew 10% over the year.
The company has 900 outlets are in the UK. The group opened 54 stores across Europe last year and opened a further two stores in Malaysia. The first JD store in Australia is due to open shortly.
“Whilst we must recognise that there are external influences which may impact the latter part of the year, notably inflationary pressures arising from Brexit, the board remains confident in the robustness of the JD proposition and believes that the group is well positioned for further profitable growth,” said Mr Cowgill.